[Linux-aus] New Zealand says hello

Craig Box craig at dubculture.co.nz
Sat Dec 3 20:02:02 UTC 2005


> Broadly speaking, the presence of LCA in NZ has been seen as an 'embrace and 
> extend' of LA into NZ. On the negative, some view this as Australian 
> imperialism. On the positive, others see this as a way to benefit all by 
> having a larger (and hopefully more powerful/influential) organisation.

By way of introduction, I'm the secretary of the Waikato LUG in NZ 
(www.wlug.org.nz - I suspect anyone who regularly googles Linux related 
topics are familiar with our work!), and along with Matt Brown and John 
McPherson, one of the three proponents of the discussion regarding 
forming a "Linux NZ" group earlier this year.

> It is the later that we should focus upon. LCA Dunedin should be portrayed as 
> an olive branch to the NZ free software community. It would serve as a 
> fantastic way to begin discussion of a wider Linux Australasia (or whatever 
> you may wish to call it).
> At no point should New Zealanders feel that they are being "acquired" by Linux 
> Australia. They need to be involved in the process from the beginning. By the 
> same token, the larger population of the community in Australia could 
> naturally mean that they have a larger influence over decision making. 
> Factors such as these need to be considered and understood by all parties 
> concerned before any "merger" takes place.

It sounds like you're trying to be very diplomatic here, but this is the 
first I've suggestion I've heard that anyone from .au might be is trying 
to, or even offering to, support/subsume/hostile takeover/whatever .nz. 
  Until now there have only been people from .nz (mostly our opinion 
voiced through Matt) thinking that it might be a good idea if you could 
help us, rather than having us form our own group.

By the way, we only consent to even considering it if you apologise 
unreservedly for Brett Lee.


> I am extremely jealous of NZ where I've been told
> everyone learns Maori in school, as it is the original language of the land.

If we do, it's not much.  Educational TV taught me some colours and to 
count to ten, and thats about all I remember.


> I agree with this. AU law is different from NZ law.
> The kinds of lobbying we need to do here could well be irrelevant for
> the NZ environment. Teh kinds of lobbying they would like to do may be
> hard to do from here with little understanding of local context.
> Peers and partners, but no need to 'own' each other I feel.

The reason that it might work is that NZ already has a national 
'lobby'/politics organization, NZOSS, which doesn't do the help-the-LUGs 
function that LA does.   It is possible that our group would be best as 
part of NZOSS (that was a strong outcome of our discussion list), but 
nothing has come of it so far as NZOSS is also lacking in enthusiasm. 
In such a small country it's hard to suggest that the same won't also 
happen with another group, which means that the two people who would 
have been really great help to a group don't end up doing anything.


> My main issue: LCA. If LA is going to become linux australasia, then
> there needs to be a confrence in australia and one in NZ. I'm not
> coming to LCA 2006 because I can't travel to New Zealand. It makes the
> cost go from $300+petrol/domestic flight to *$800* (rego+airfares)!
> The choice of NZ for the *Australian* Linux conference means a lot of
> us can't go.

I appreciate your point of view here, but to counter, I am going this 
year because it is in New Zealand, where I have never attended before. 
With the relative sizes of the countries I can't guarantee that this is 
going to balance out - but when it comes to international speakers, you 
also have the possibility that you will get people that say "I've been 
to Australia, but seeing as it's NZ and that's different, I'll go".

People have already pointed out that it's no further than Perth to most, 
  passport notwithstanding, and the argument about which group was the 
best organised.  There has been discussion about offering a hosting bid 
in Hamilton, NZ in the future, and I'd like to think that we wouldn't be 
turned down as being outside Australia. I assume it depends on the 
outcome of Dunedin - I know Mike through IRC and have complete 
confidence in what he and his team are doing.  I also know that if we 
could get the team and infrastructure behind the NZNOG conference in 
Hamilton for the last couple of years, we could also pull off a very 
successful gig.  If it's an international grass-roots Linux conference, 
how much does it matter that it's in Australia?  Would you turn down the 
support of NZers because of the having to travel further, when this year 
you have to travel that far anyway?

I also suspect that if we had a confernece that was just an NZ gig, it 
wouldn't happen, as demonstrated by the Uniforum group being superceded 
by the smaller NOG group and eventually dying out completely.  NZ just 
isn't big enough to achieve lots of things, regardless of our Can Do 
attitude, but we can play a part in helping in Australia if we put 
national rivalry aside.  The best compromise I can think of here would 
be to piggy back on LCA to get speakers to come through NZ as well, but 
the people who care may as well just get on a plane to Australia at that 


More information about the linux-aus mailing list